Geographical aspects of the logistic carbon footprint: estimating the environmental impact of freight transport


  • Andrea Gallo Department of Economics, Business, Mathematics and Statistics, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy


The network of increasing interconnections on a global scale involves a reduction of physical distances, which is reflected in the intensification of the freight flows. Among human activities, transport and logistics are responsible for an important share of pollution and carbon-related emissions. It is therefore clear that the environmental aspects closely linked to the relationship between economic activity and geography, take on an even more central role. Quantifying the emissions produced along different supply chains is a challenging task; carbon-based emissions generated by the logistics sector have a relevant impact on environmental sustainability.  We propose an innovative approach to the estimation of the carbon footprint as an indicator of the environmental sustainability of logistics processes. A tool for computing the logistics carbon footprint, which clearly defines the boundaries of application of the model and its scope has been developed. The main sources of emissions were analyzed in detail and then an adjustment factor was introduced to summarize the exogenous factor that are not easily to model. Once the carbon footprint processing method had been framed, this synthetic indicator for the analysis of the environmental sustainability of different logistics processes was used regarding a logistics chain for intra-Mediterranean freight traffic.


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Topics on Geography of Transport and Logistics ed. by Borruso, Mazzarino, Tadini